[BREAKING] Supreme Court agrees to hear tomorrow plea against holding board exams offline

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear tomorrow petition by school students against holding board exams for classes 10 and 12 via physical/ offline mode [Anubha Shrivastava Sahai vs Union of India].

The matter was mentioned on Tuesday before Justice AM Khanwilkar by advocate Prashant Padmanabhan.

“Same problem is persisting since 2 years. Even though Covid has improved, offline classes have not been held,” Padmanabhan said.

“Serve copy (of the petition) on CBSE. We will list the matter tomorrow for hearing,” the judge said.

The hearing tomorrow will be limited to CBSE.

The plea filed by Students from over 15 States across the country was mentioned yesterday before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana who had agreed to list it before a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar.

Subsequently, the website of the Supreme Court showed that the matter will be tentatively listed on February 25.

However, the petitioners chose to mention the matter since board exams already started in the State of Madhya Pradesh.

The petitioners have sought an alternative assessment method for upcoming board exams for classes 10 and 12 instead of holding physical exam as proposed by various State boards, Central Bureau of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)

The students, who have moved the plea though Child rights activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and Students Union of Odisha, have also prayed for directions to all boards for declaration of results on time and an option for improvement exam due to various challenges being faced by them.

The petitioners pointed out that for CBSE, the board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be held in the last week of April.

For ICSE and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), there is no notification yet, the plea said.

As far as State Boards are concerned some have declared the timetable while some are still holding discussions on the course of action, it was highlighted.

“The students are dissatisfied by this kind of behaviour of State government and other boards and stressed and worried about their future and career,” the plea said.

Pertinently, the plea highlighted the COVID-19 situation and the difficulties and pressures faced by students due to the interruptions in their schooling.

“The petitioners therefore submit that, in fact subjecting the children to write the examination and conducting the examination when the Covid-19 wave is still high, with the number of patients infected and death is rising day by day, when there are seen unprecedented mortality numbers, when the experts are predicting that third wave of resurgence likely to mostly affect children and young people, it will be violating their right to life,” the petition stated.

While education is important it is not more important than the lives and mental health of children, teachers, staff and parents of the children who will have to venture out to appear for physical exam, the plea added.

The plea apart from seeking a direction not to hold exam via physical mode, also prayed for a direction to University Grants Commission to constitute a committee to declare the date for admission into various Universities and to work out a formula for assessment of Class XII students who want to pursue their further studies in non-professional courses.

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